The Stephens Group announces new hires to boost firm’s investment outreach

by Wesley Brown ([email protected]) 923 views 

The Stephens Group of Little Rock recently announced the hiring of two top executives and an associate to improve the local investment firm’s “value creation capabilities.”

Mark Steenhoek, former engagement manager for McKinsey and Company, joined the Arkansas firm as Vice President of Operations. Steenhoek has extensive experience in driving operational improvement across all facets of an organization, including strategy, operations, pricing, cost optimization, data and analytics, project management and talent development, company officials said.

Most recently, Steenhoek worked in McKinsey’s advanced analytics division. He also held an operating role as director of operations, technology and analytics for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The Stephens Group new hire received his undergraduate degree in finance and accounting from the University of Oklahoma and his MBA from MIT.

The Little Rock investor group has also hired Evan Grisham as a vice president to support the group’s efforts in software and tech enabled services. Prior to joining the Arkansas investment firm, Grisham formerly served as a director in the corporate development and mergers and acquisitions group at Walmart. His responsibilities with the nation’s largest retailer in Bentonville included corporate strategy and execution of acquisitions, strategic investments, divestitures and joint ventures across their global footprint.

Prior to Walmart, the University of Arkansas finance undergraduate was a vice president at Westrock Group in Little Rock, where he focused on the firm’s investments in coffee sourcing and trading. He began his career as an analyst in investment banking at Stephens Inc.

Lewis Jones, an undergraduate from the University of Virginia’s commerce department, also joined the Little Rock investment firm as an associate. Company officials said Jones will provide overall support for the private equity initiatives of the firm. Before joining the local investment group, Jones served as an Analyst at Harris Williams, a leading middle market investment bank.

“We continue to invest in our people to support our firm’s commitment to identifying the most compelling investment opportunities, while supporting our management partners with strong value creating capabilities. We expect to announce additional hires in the near future,” said Witt Stephens, CEO and chairman of the private investment firm backed by the local Stephens family with over $1.5 billion invested since 2006.

The Stephens Group targets investments in industries across the U.S., including industrial and commercial products and services, specialty distribution, B2B food and consumer products, and technology infrastructure and tech-enabled services, as well as select opportunistic situations.